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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Mon Mar 24, 2003, 12:20pm
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A post about a bench-clearing brawl in Pennsylvania at a boys basketball game got me wondering how to handle the same situation in a football game.

In a five-man crew, who is responsible for what? I realize it may depend on WHERE the fight starts, but I'm curious if anyone else pre-games this (or at least discusses this with the crew to prepare them for the season).

What are your thoughts on this issue?
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Old Mon Mar 24, 2003, 01:27pm
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As a general rule of thumb, if we can't keep it from happening, we throw the flags and take numbers. We identify a coach on each sideline as our contact, and he is the person responsible for stepping into the middle of a bad fight. In the chest-bumping slap fests, we let them get tired and then pitch the participants. We will try to get in between them before they start swinging, but the advice we were given by the chapter was to stay out of the middle of a fight for both legal and safety issues. We had a situation in the last game of last season where we had a cheap hit followed by a fight. There were five flags and a hat on the ground, but the coaches did a good job of keeping the bench back and the other players pulled the combatants apart. I have no idea what we would do with a bench clearer. Good idea for pregame planning.
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Old Mon Mar 24, 2003, 01:35pm
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Smile Watch your back...

Gosh, this is something that we all need to think about. Sounds like this situation is beyond the scope of preventive officiating. I'm going to bring this up at our meeting.

What I would think the crew should do is to start taking numbers (perhaps the wing officials would be responsible for players in the team box area and the R and U would be responsible for players on the field) and gather together for mutual safety while getting security and/police people on the field as soon as possible. Perhaps one member of the crew can carry their cell phone to call the proper authorities.

I know in spite of our best efforts something like this may happen. The main concern would be to stay safe. Maybe obtaining a roster of both teams before the game would be a good idea. Instead of taking down numbers just say all of them should be: arrested/suspended/expelled/prosecuted/etc.
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Old Mon Mar 24, 2003, 03:19pm
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Re: Watch your back...

Quote:
Originally posted by Mike Simonds
Gosh, this is something that we all need to think about. Sounds like this situation is beyond the scope of preventive officiating. I'm going to bring this up at our meeting.

What I would think the crew should do is to start taking numbers (perhaps the wing officials would be responsible for players in the team box area and the R and U would be responsible for players on the field) and gather together for mutual safety while getting security and/police people on the field as soon as possible.

This is kind of what I was thinking. I've never had a fight break out in any game that I've worked. I am hoping to never run into this situation, but every football game has a potential for becoming ugly like this and I want to be prepared.

My own opinion is that wings should watch for subs entering from their side and get those numbers while U and R watch the players on the field. BJ should assist whoever might appear to need assistance. I agree officials should congregate for protection and move to a position to observe if the initial fight cannot be stopped.




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Old Mon Mar 24, 2003, 06:24pm
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Location: Fort Myers FL
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Red face

I was working a college level game between a D-3 JV team and
a JUCO team------ the game kept deteriorating as it went on--
I was HL and had to rag one of the assistant coaches on my side--
we had all we could do as a crew to keep the game going-----
as the end of the game neared-- I instructed my chain crew to drop
the sticks and get out of the way---- as all hell broke loose then--
full sacle brawl at the end of the game ! --- the white hat wrote
up the offending school and they were actually barred from
play for the next season !!
scary stuff
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Old Mon Mar 24, 2003, 07:06pm
JMN JMN is offline
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Semi-Pro

Sure makes you think about keeping you and your crew safe!


At the end of a Semi-Pro game last year, the losing team revved up the trash talking. They were frustrated in that they were losing, but had been the champions for the past few years. As we took control with flags and as much preventative officiating as possible, the game finally ended.

As we gathered together and left the field (quickly), the losing team chided us for "losing the game for them", while the winners gave us garbage for not protecting their players well enough. We got out of the stadium and watched as the teams started to rumble in the middle of the field.

Good to be on our way home...
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